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tonight on "nightline," a cia bombshell. as director david petraeus, one of the nation's most respected generals, resigns over an extramarital affair. how an fbi investigation involving his biographer brought down the man in charge of the country's most guarded secrets. becoming lincoln. america's revered president, brought to life by a hollywood dream team. steven spielberg and daniel day lewis ted diane sawyer about separating the man from the myth. and walk on the wild side. up close and personal with a rare and fearsome predator. our reporter puts tail in hand to get to know the african white lion. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," november 9th, 2012. >> good evening, i'm bill weir.
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when president obama strode into the east room of the white house this afternoon, we all knew that job one of term two is to hammer out some sort of deal with republicans to keep the federal government from veering off the so-called fiscal cliff. and we knew he would probably lay down some markers. >> i'm open to compromise. i'm open to new ideas. i'm committed to solving our fiscal challenges. but i refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced. i'm not going to ask students and seniors and middle class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me making over $250,000 aren't asked to pay a dime more in taxes. i'm not going to do that. >> but what we did not know about that moment is that the president was also thinking about finding a new director of the cia. after decorated four-star general david petraeus admitted an affair and resigned.
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abc's senior foreign affairs correspondent martha raddatz has the details. >> reporter: as cia director, david petraeus held all of the nation's secrets. but was keeping a big one of his own. today, in a statement to cia employees, the man considered a national hero by some acknowledged the affair and what he called his extremely poor judgment. "such behavior is unacceptable," the statement said, "both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours." details about the affair are still emerging. but abc news has learned that the affair was discovered during an fbi investigation into the activities of petraeus' biographer, paula broadwell. the bureau had become concerned with what they called strange activity on the internet by broadwell and that she had also possibly sent e-mails about petraeus to others. >> obviously they trusted me, so, i was able to get a lot of
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great access. >> reporter: earlier this year, broadwell talked on c-span about her professional relationship with petraeus. >> he put duty in our country and service to the nation above his family. so, i almost consider that a strength and a weakness, you know, as a working mother and wife, my husband works really hard, too, and it's hard to find balance. >> reporter: today, in a statement, the president praised petraeus' dedication and patriotism and said his thoughts and prayers are with dave and holly petraeus. >> he has spent a lot of time away from home and family under a great deal of stress and, you know, if this shows anything, it shows that david petraeus, after all, is human. >> reporter: petraeus was, in many respects, the public face of the wars. the highly decorated general, often appears before congress. one of the masterminds behind the surge in iraq that ultimately helped bring that war to a close. then, afghanistan and the call to headcia.
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>> are you ready to come back? ready for the cia? >> well, i feel very fortunate to have been provided such an opportunity to continue to serve and to contribute, if inficonfi, but the iraqi people will always be in my mind and in my heart. >> reporter: this colonel was petraeus' executive officer in iraq from 2007 to 2008. >> he had a lot of opportunities in iraq, if he wanted to, to let his hair down, to maybe drink alcohol at one of the embassies, but he wouldn't do it because the troops couldn't do it. and to find out that he had an extramarital affair, it's really -- it's somewhat sad. >> reporter: even amid this devastating personal scandal, those closest to him speculate petraeus still had the cia's best interest at heart. >> there is a possibility, if you're the cia director, that someone could use, if they found out about an extramarital affair, they could use it as blackmail against, you sew, it's
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not surprising to me that he did the right thing and offered to resign. >> reporter: taking over the cia last year, his wife, holly, looking on. married 38 years to holly, petraeus met her before graduating from west point. she was from a long line of army royalty. her great great grandfather fought in the civil war. her own father, a retired four-star general. pef tray yus spoke of the young holly he met at west point. >> i'll never be able to adequately express my love and appreciation for all that she has done, but i can, at least, say here this morning, thanks, holl, i love you. >> reporter: over their nearly four decades together, the family moved 24 times, following petraeus' career. holly raising two children. and if petraeus was celebrated for his military discipline, for holly, it has been devotion. army wives have said, "she's one of us." just this year, she spoke about her favorite poem and its
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premise. >> life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how i react to it. >> reporter: news of the affair has sent shockwaves through the national security establishment. certain limb others have had affairs, in congress, the white house, but having the director of central intelligence involved in an affair is serious business. with world leaders, friend and foe, watching his every move and almost certainly looking for vulnerabilities. i'm martha raddatz for "nightline" in washington. >> and just ahead, hollywood heavyweights daniel day lewis and steven spielberg join forces to breathe life into the legend of abraham lincoln. abc's diane sawyer has the interview, next. i'm a conservative investor. i invest in what i know. i turned 65 last week. i'm getting married. planning a life.
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with bill weir. >> gangly, big eared, with a shrill voice and a tendency to laugh before anyone else in the room, few presidents seem more unelectable than abraham lincoln. but his leadership in a time when red states and blue states were soaked in blood makes him one of our most beloved americans. a perfect character for a founding father of the blockbuster, steven spielberg, who sat down with his lincoln, daniel day lewis, and our diane sawyer. >> reporter: fascinated by lincoln since he was a child, steven spielberg always wanted to do this movie. america at its finest, with lincoln as the prism for understanding the delicate balance between dedication and doubt. >> i have this recollection from my childhood, when my uncle took me to the lincoln memorial and
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you're led into this dark, kind of rotunda, and there is a giant sitting in a chair. >> reporter: what did you see in hi face? do you remember? >> i thought he was looking directly at me. and that was it. >> reporter: i'm trying to imagine the two of you as children. >> we still are. >> reporter: okay, makes it easier, it helps. the boy who grew up to be a director, carrying a dream. and knowing there was only one actor for this role. did you hear anything about lincoln? >> certainly was aware of him in some form or another from a fairly young age and i think it might have been from the cards that you got with bubble gum. >> reporter: for nearly eight years, daniel day lewis, who grew up in england and ireland, said no. it would be impossible to embody america's most dearly loved president. >> seemed like such an important thing. last thing i wanted to do was to desecrate the memory of the most dearly loved president of this country, so -- it took some
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time. it took a lot of time and a lot of shyness around it. >> yes. >> reporter: but at a meeting last year, spielberg kept seeing lincoln in his face and, so, sneaked out his camera. you snapped a photo? >> yeah. i didn't tell him i did that. >> when did you do that? >> oh, a long time ago. you don't need to know about that. it was the first time that daniel, you know, was in a wonderful light, in a beautiful back light and i just went with my little -- like that, a hip shot. it was just right off the hip. >> reporter: i love the idea of you at paparazzi. >> exactly, exactly. >> reporter: and then, there it was on the screen. lincoln. daunting, monumental, fully human. >> he was awkward to look at and his voice didn't fit his stature and he would just disarm a room with a crazy story that had no relevance to the issue of why they were in the room to begin with. >> time is a great thickener of things. >> i suppose it is.
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actually, i have no idea what i mean by that. >> if no one latches at the stories, he'd be the first one to guffaw at the story he'd be telling. >> reporter: and the actor who grew up in another country found abraham lincoln's famous reedy voice. >> i never had a single conversation with daniel about the voice or the physicalization of lincoln. that was daniel's discovery process. one day, i got a little cassette tape in the mail from daniel. when i turned on the player, i heard the president speaking to me. >> i like our chances now. >> reporter: and so they were ready to go with a brilliant screen play about noblest goals. and course politics. >> before me stands stinking, demoral karras of the gentleman from ohio. proof that some men are inferior, endowed by their maker with dim wits. >> reporter: actor tommy lee jones plays the aging firebrand about lish nis, representatived that yus stevens.
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>> you are more reptile than man, george. so low and flat that the foot of man is incapable of crushing you. >> how dare you. >> reporter: inside the film, there are details from a time capsule. the kentucky historic society let them use the real sound of lincoln's real watch. >> when you hear that gentle ticking, that's the ticking that lincoln himself heard 150 years ago. >> reporter: a man, forced to make wrenching decisions. and the reality of a father who had one child off at war, another lost to typhoid fever. his youngest, by his side. >> he adored tad. tad was a complete anarchist and there were so many descriptions of the chaos that he caused in the white house. >> please don't encourage him. >> driving a goat cart up and down the quarters of the white house. >> you're back! >> reporter: exuberance. >> absolutely. i think, yes, loved the force of
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life. >> i think in some way, tad represented the future, what tomorrow would bring. >> reporter: and a different portrait of the wife by his side. >> mrs. lincoln. >> madame president. >> reporter: mary lincoln, who had once been the girl every man courted, but chose this country lawyer because she saw something in him, perhaps before he did. >> she was standing on the precipice of herself. never knowing which way she was going to fall with it, go right into the abyss. >> reporter: sally field in a marriage at one searing and loving, warning her husband that he alone can and must end slavery and end the civil war. >> because if you fail to acquire the necessary votes, woe unto you, you will answer to me. >> reporter: and so, one very human man against the odds, against the opposition. >> blood's been spilled to afford us this moment. >> reporter: creating one nation, with a vision of what we can be at our best. >> shall we stop this bleeding?
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>> "lincoln," which is distributed by our parent company disney, opens in some cities today, nationwide november 16th. thanks to diane sawyer. coming up next, close encounters with the king of the beasts. our reporter takes a stroll with some of africa's most powerful predators. ♪ [ male announcer ] how could switchgrass in argentina,
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these days, it seems barely
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a month goes by without news of an animal encounter gone horribly wrong. it's fair to say a vacation spent coe diing up to a pack of african white lions takes a certain kind of tourist. and for those not to content to gaez from a safe distance, here's abc's jeffrey kofman for "into the wild." >> reporter: those are powerful cats. look at the size of their paws. these lions could do serious damage out leer in the south african bush. keep your distance. wait a minute. what is that tourist doing? >> i'm just holding the lion's tail as he goes for a walk. >> reporter: what is it like walking a lion? >> it's amazing. >> reporter: nervous? >> not at all. >> reporter: do not try this at home. don't try this at your local zoo, in fact, don't try this anywhere else. we traveled far into the south african bush to the grazing land of the ranch conner is van si
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where the wildebeests and jackals roam. and yes, the giraffes and the rare and oh so stunning sable antelope. ah, you're saying, but i wonder where the lions are? it's the lions that bring the tourists. the courageous and the curious come to the ranch to walk with the animals. >> little bit out of my comfort zone at the moment, but i'm looking forward to it. >> reporter: a little out of your comfort zone. >> yeah. >> reporter: what is it about walking with lions that would take you out of your comfort zone? >> exactly. >> good morning, all. if you drop something on the ground, please, don't bend down or kneel down to pick that up. that's because you make yourself smaller, which gives these animals an opportunity, you know, they always going for a smaller thing, easy target. ladies first. >> reporter: entering the lion's den. sure, these beautiful beasts have been bred in captivity, but they are still, well, beasts. at times, this does feel like a
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circus act. but conner is van sips like this are helping breed lions as their numbers dwindle. 40 years ago, there were 200,000 lions across africa. today, about 30,000. a result of dwindling habitat and hunting. this is a refuge for white lions. >> the white ones are quite rare because mostly in the wild, what happens is, they've got a disadvantage. they can be spotted from a distance so mostly, they hardly survive. >> reporter: i keep thinking of the lions in all those nature films attacking and devouring their prey. >> if i turn around too much, he'll bite me. >> reporter: and that oh, so confident guy in the film "grizzlyman" who thought the bears were his friends until they mauled him to death. forget that stuff. >> take the tail. >> reporter: these guys do seem to know what they're doing. >> could turn on people, but now, the thing is, we actually know the limits. we can see their body language.
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>> reporter: i sure hope so. each tourist here pays $70. it's thrill seeking animal kingdom edition. this is really incredible. what a spectacular guy. okay, so, now it's my turn to walk with the animals. i'm just letting her lead me. she's taking me for a walk. but she does feel very calm. it's actually not frightening. at least not yet. it does occur to you that, in a moment, she could turn on you. she walks fast. it suddenly hits you, that, whoops, there she goes. wow. talk about taking a walk on the wild side. i'm jeffrey kofman for "nightline" in south africa. >> oh, thanks to jeffrey. and thank you for watching. hope you check out "gma" and hope you have a great weekend. up next on an

ABC November 9, 2012 11:35pm-12:00am PST

News/Business. Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran, Bill Weir. (2012) New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Abc 5, Daniel 4, Steven Spielberg 4, David Petraeus 4, Cia 3, Daniel Day Lewis 3, Holly 3, Diane Sawyer 3, Martha Raddatz 2, T. Rowe 2, Conner 2, Broadwell 2, Lincoln 2, South Africa 2, Iraq 2, Hollywood 2, Africa 2, America 2, Jeffrey Kofman 2, Petraeus 2
Network ABC
Duration 00:25:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 74 (525 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 1280
Pixel height 720
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

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on 11/10/2012